Counselled a young author today.
Talking to him reminded me vividly of the issues I had when first sending my manuscript for submissions… The fear that someone would zoy my work and claim it as their own; the fear that if I picked a “too small” publisher they wouldn’t give me the distribution my work so clearly deserved; the fear (well-founded, as I established from talking to various other authors) that the editor would chop big parts of the story away without me being allowed to object; and so on.
So eventually I opted for self-publication… but I took it a step further and decided to take a few friends along. They would of course not be self-published but published (by me); and already being published should make it easier for them to find “real” publishers.
From the amount of agencies and publishers we approached in 2008, that don’t exist anymore, I need to conclude that I am a “real” publisher. Small, but real.
We have 16 book s& ebooks and growing, and 5 CDs with music. We have at least 4 projects in the burner, but it’s closer to 7, actually. We have books in stacks of shops and music shops; we even have one book in CNA and one in Top Books. We have had full reviews in Rekord and Your Family, as well as online; and we’ve had a mention in Pretoria News.
And we have the cutest website of them all; even though it’s not “interactive”. It does what it needs to do, it displays and sells books, and entertains readers while giving authors a platform.
Brag, brag, brag. All this is for is to establish that contrary to my own impression, the business has been growing. This is quite a baffling thing.
… and a story post: For you who read so patiently. 😉
Off the coast of Mozambique, (which, after various political takeovers and name changes, had come full circle to being itself again as a proud province of Southern Free), a reef diver marvelled at the beauty of a hammerhead shark that was shadowing him. Sharks shadowed divers a lot without actually doing anything. Well, sometimes they ate them, but mostly they didn’t. It was commonly believed that they regarded the divers as livestock.
A shadow came towards them. The diver readied his camera, realizing that it was fairly large. He hoped to capture a whale on a close-up.
He hadn’t any idea just how large. It was the largest thing the shark had ever seen; it fled in horror and abandoned its livestock.
Only the few all-night lights of the hotel were breaking the complete, moonless dark. The jet set down soundlessly.
“Do we capture him now?” asked Carlos.
“Quiet!” warned Perdita. The bodyguard was beginning to annoy her seriously. He had been asking dumb questions throughout the flight, first in the Rebellion jet, then in her own. He had never been in an aircraft before. And he needed a shower again, although she had made him take one the second they stopped down on Fatu Hiva. She had never yet met a man who could produce such amounts of sweat so fast!
She had to move quickly. The old man was hunting for her. He knew of course where she would go.
“I only talk when I have to tell you what to do,” she instructed the halfwit bodyguard. “You don’t talk at all, unless you see danger and have to warn me. Is that understood?”
Carlos nodded mutely.
It was his own fault that he only had half his brain, she thought. She, too, had really bad stuff in her past, but she hadn’t numbed herself with chemicals. But Perdita could never stay on such a train of thought for long. Not everyone could handle pain the way she could, she reminded herself bitterly. It was her genetic advantage. She led the way through the trees. The hidden harbour of Hiva Oa lay before them in the starlight, some small white crests the only visible features, except where the hotel’s light reflected off the wavelets.
“This is very interesting,” muttered Perdita.
“What is?” asked Carlos. She turned and stared at him. “Oh, oops,” said Carlos. “Sorry, Señora!”
“You will be,” said Perdita with a smile, her luminous pupils narrowing.
Carlos swallowed. That was right, he had forgotten – the lady was not quite like others. There were rumours… he had better watch himself!
Perdita noted the effect of her reprimand with satisfaction. She returned her attention to what was happening in the harbour. Her night-vision was still excellent, after all these years. A motorboat had landed. Soundlessly. She pulled a small device out of her pocket, unfolded it, hooked the ear-piece into her ear and pointed the directional microphone at the two figures mooring the boat.
A smile spread across her face with the very first sentence she picked up.
“That was faster than the Solar Wind,” said a female voice.
“Remember, Ailyss,” replied a man, “the Solar Wind mostly runs on wind power. This thing runs mainly on its nuclear drive. That makes it quite a bit faster. Over long distances the difference is remarkable.”
“But why doesn’t the Solar Wind mainly use her fuel or nuclear drives?”
“Economy.” He stretched out a hand and helped her onto the jetty. “We’d have to dig into poor Federi’s rum reserves to keep her going! And if we wanted to run her nuclear all the time we’d have to use up all his Plutonium stocks!”
The girl chuckled.
The man extended a hand. “Come, let’s find the Captain, let’s lose no time. It’s just as well it’s four in the morning, he won’t be in the Peace Talks right now!”
“A moment, Pierre.” Ailyss held him back.
“I wanted to say thank you,” she said. “You didn’t throw me overboard when you found me with that secret message.”
“Of course not!”
“Do you mind not mentioning it yet, Pierre? I want to find out who’s sending these before I do anything about it.”
“Well,” said Pierre thoughtfully. “That’s taking a risk, Ailyss. You’re asking me to trust you that you really don’t know what’s behind it.”
“Well, yes. Would you?”
“All right, Ailyss,” said Pierre. “But if you don’t mind, I’ll keep my eye on it with you. The last time a Quinlan went unobserved it cost us the Ice Base.”
“That wasn’t my Dad’s fault,” said Ailyss heatedly.
“We still don’t know that for sure,” replied Pierre softly. “If it was, it puts your father and Captain on opposite sides of the fence, doesn’t it? Which side will you choose, princess? I expect blood runs thicker than water?”
“It wasn’t his fault, Pierre. I’m positive of that,” insisted Ailyss. “And I’ll tell you of every paper I receive, immediately. Promise.”
Perdita knew now whom she had before her. The Quinlan girl. This was all extremely interesting.
“Do we capture them?” asked Carlos next to her, causing her to jump with surprise. He found himself at the pointy-end of another scathing glare.
(© Lyz Russo 2012).
“Freedom Fighter” (The Solar Wind 3) is not yet launched; but watch this space, and in the meanwhile, get your free copy of the beginning of the series, “Donegal Trouble” (spanning about 40% of “The Mystery of the Solar Wind”).